ZEITGEIST 5e Conversion

mort655

Explorer
It’s been a few years since I regularly lurked here, so I apologize if this question has already been addressed.

My group started our campaign in 4e and had made through Adventure 6 before taking a break. Now, we’re considering retuning to Risur, but converting to 5e.

For those that also made the switch from 4e to 5e, are there any pitfalls we should watch out for?
How did you handle magic items?

I’d appreciate any help/feedback.

Thanks!
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
You know there’s an official 5E version out? It is being released monthly on EN5ider, and is up to about adventure 8 now.
 

mort655

Explorer
I'm aware.

My concern is with my players converting their previous character from 4e to 5e, especially when it comes to magic items. I'm curious to see what other DMs have done.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Ah, sorry. I thought you meant converting the adventures yourself, not the PCs. :)
 

RSIxidor

Explorer
There is an official conversion guide https://media.wizards.com/2015/downloads/dnd/DnD_Conversions_1.0.pdf

It does have some advice on remaking some abilities like racial powers, and refers to "Modifying a Class" in chapter 9 of the DMG if you want to build a class that's closer to what was in the previous edition.

The core of the advice is, "build something with what's available that's close enough to fit the characters story even if it doesn't give them the same abilities."

I largely have to agree with this. From my own experience, I played a lot of defenders in 4E. There are some options that are defendery but if I remade the defenders I played in 4E in 5E, I'm not sure I'd build using those options.

Magic items, half the bonuses the items have, and in some cases just remove the bonus (if the abilities of the item are useful enough on their own).
 

Adslahnit

Explorer
Beyond superficial elements such as races, classes, levels, and ability scores, 4e and 5e are vastly different in terms of character abilities and metagame. A 4e class of X name (e.g. fighter, monk, paladin) will play very differently from a 5e class of the same name, and there may not even be 5e equivalents of certain 4e classes. 5e is also a decidedly more down-to-earth, lower-fantasy, less grid-based-combat-tactics-oriented game, compared to the larger-than-life, high-fantasy, grid-based-combat-tactics heavy 4e.

The players would effectively rebuilding their characters from scratch, and they should go into 5e knowing this. Let the players know that they are moving into a parallel timeline separate from the 4e version, and give them some leeway in reimagining and restructuring their characters.

What was the old party in 4e? I strongly doubt that the options available in 5e can get anywhere close, even with Unearthed Arcana, but it may still be worth a try.
 

mort655

Explorer
Beyond superficial elements such as races, classes, levels, and ability scores, 4e and 5e are vastly different in terms of character abilities and metagame. A 4e class of X name (e.g. fighter, monk, paladin) will play very differently from a 5e class of the same name, and there may not even be 5e equivalents of certain 4e classes. 5e is also a decidedly more down-to-earth, lower-fantasy, less grid-based-combat-tactics-oriented game, compared to the larger-than-life, high-fantasy, grid-based-combat-tactics heavy 4e.

The players would effectively rebuilding their characters from scratch, and they should go into 5e knowing this. Let the players know that they are moving into a parallel timeline separate from the 4e version, and give them some leeway in reimagining and restructuring their characters.

What was the old party in 4e? I strongly doubt that the options available in 5e can get anywhere close, even with Unearthed Arcana, but it may still be worth a try.
I'm not so much concerned about the class stuff. I get that not all the mechanics can be converted over.

I was more curious about magic items. 4e was so much more focused on gear than 5e. Everything had prices in 4e which made the whole getting a stipend thing pretty cut and dry, but 5e magic items don't have costs.
 

Adslahnit

Explorer
Just as it is well and truly impossible to really translate 4e races and 4e classes into 5e, it is impossible to genuinely translate 4e items into 5e. The two magic item systems work off wholly different paradigms, like night and day. The party's magic items will have to be reset from scratch, for all intents and purposes.

Use the 5e player's guide's system for rarity-based requisitions and caps, and use any 5e versions of Zeitgeist-original magic items. That is just about the best you can do.
 

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